The Putin Production System

In an earlier post we saw a message from Stalin to a factory manager that showed his way of motivating employees. Now Youtube has the following video illustrating Vladimir Putin’s approach to manufacturing:

The video was first posted on Youtube on 2/17/2012, when Putin was Prime Minister and running for President in the election that took place on 3/4/2012. The event took place three years earlier, and was reported in the New York Times on June 4, 2009. It happened at the Baselcement factory, which makes alumina, in Pikalevo, 150 miles East of Saint-Petersburg. The video was obviously not taken with a hidden camera; it was a deliberately staged event.

Putin comes to this cement factory, berates the managers for being unprepared, and “running around like cockroaches when I said I was coming.” He tells the owners that they are “unprofessional and greedy,” and then that this factory, which we didn’t know was closed, would be restarted “one way or another,” and without the owners if they didn’t cooperate.

One of the owners in the room is Oleg Deripaska, a rich businessman and political ally of Putin. Putin has an agreement in hand, that is apparently missing Deripaska’s signature, which he demands. The last touch, after Deripaska signs is Putin demanding his pen back, which seems intended as a counterpoint to the White House signing ceremonies where the US President gives away pens.

Seeing the confidence with which Putin passed judgement on manufacturing issues, I assumed it was based on his own extensive experience. The wikipedia article on him, however, only mentions 16 years in the KGB prior to entering politics.

BeripaskaIn the video, we see what appears to be a cheap nerd watch on billionaire Deripaska’s wrist. The same watch is prominent on his home page, and has to be there on purpose. If Deripaska has a Rolex, he keeps it out of the public eye.